“Before, therefore, schools rush to follow the approach suggested by the Prime Minister, and now supported by the Chief Inspector, they should think carefully. Schools should consider the availability of other schools in the area that the student could attend and would allow her to wear the veil. Schools should ask themselves why the prohibition is required, and see how this fits with the potential justifications afforded by Article 9(2). Otherwise, they run the risk of a successful human rights challenge.”
Last week the Prime Minister entered into the debate on the wearing of veils by Muslim women in schools. This week, it is the turn of the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshire. The Chief Inspector has said that:
The Prime Minister and Secretary of State are right to give their backing to schools and other institutions which insist on removing face coverings when it makes sense to do so.
I am concerned that some heads and principals who are trying to restrict the wearing of the full veil in certain circumstances are coming under pressure from others to relax their policy. I want to assure these leaders that they can rely on my full backing for the stance they are taking.
I have also made clear to my inspectors that where leaders are condoning the wearing of the face veil by staff members or by pupils when…
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